SAVOY

SAVOY

Director and ProducerZohar Wagner / Israel 2022

Genre: Hybrid Film / Docu-Fiction

Category: Action / History / Terrorism / Middle-East

Co-Producers: Dorit Hakim-Kramer, Itay Akirav

Produced for Kan Israeli Public Broadcast Corporation (IPBC)
Coproduced with ARTE/RBB, Germany

Cast: Dana Ivgy, Ala Dakka (”Fauda”), Imri Biton, Jalal Masrwa, Nehad Rada
Language: Hebrew, Arabic

Subtitles: English, French

Length: 78 minutes

In a new hybrid documentary, filmmaker Zohar Wagner tells the story of Kochava Levy, the forgotten heroine of the deadly 1975 Savoy Hotel terror attack in Tel Aviv.    

Filmmaker Zohar Wagner tells the story of Kochava Levy, a young woman of Yemeni descent, who served as mediator between terrorists and IDF while being held hostage in Tel Aviv – during the night of the deadly 1975 Savoy hotel terror attack. Over the course of one night, she transformed herself into a fearless heroine. The film intertwines rare archival materials that were never released as well as re-enacted scenes from the night of the attack.

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Festivals & Awards:

  • International Competition: Fipadoc Biarritz, France 2023
  • International Competition: Santa Barbara International Film Festival, USA 2023
  • Best Editing AwardBest Art Direction Award: Ophir Awards 2022 (Israel Film Academy) 
  • Best Documentary Director AwardBest Editing Award: Jerusalem Film Festival, Israel 2022

JFF 2022: Israeli Competition:
The Diamond Award for Best Director of a Documentary Film was awarded to director Zohar Wagner for her film Savoy.
Jury statement: “A combination of fascinating documentary footage and excellent scripted scenes, recreating a tragic historical event and reestablishes a brave woman’s reputation.”

The Diamond Award for Best Editing was awarded to Nili Feller and Shauly Melamed for the film Savoy.
Jury statement: “The editing skillfully blends the real and the imaginary, and maintains dynamism and a steady rhythm throughout the film.”

Director's Statement:
''Savoy'' is a film about a woman who faced a horrible bloody situation and fearlessly communicated with armed enemies, exercising feminine empathy, compassion, and wisdom. And yet, she was never awarded and only condemned. Being reluctant to tell the truth - what was she doing at the day use hotel - the next day journalists reported that Kohava Levy was a prostitute entertaining a client at the hotel. "Time" magazine described her as: "A petite, black-haired prostitute who picked up some Arabic in the streets." More strict standards of sexual behavior are applied to a woman than to a man. We tend to forgive a man who cheated on his wife, especially if he was a brave soldier, but we do not excuse a traitorous woman. Kohava is a complex, multi-layered heroine. She betrayed her husband and as a result, became entangled in endless lies.

Movie Reviews:
* « The film is exceptionally good. There were many hostage incidents that were more ambiguous and those tend to be forgotten. The fascinating new docudrama by Zohar Wagner, Savoy, looks at one such complicated siege that took place in 1975. Wagner has chosen to tell this story from many interesting angles and it is the opposite of a straightforward TV movie-type film. Savoy also raises interesting questions about ethnicity, class and stereotypes, and will make you think about what has and hasn’t changed in the past few decades. » Thought-provoking ‘Savoy’ examines Tel Aviv hotel siege in 1975 / Hannah Brown / Jerusalem Post
* « Zohar Wagner's film work stands as a monument to the memory of Kochava Levy and is built in her image: brave, poetic, liberated and knows exactly what she is doing. Wagner is building up the tension and describing the drama, and also puts emphasis on the human design of the characters, including the terrorists, and especially on framing this story within a political and social context. »
Savoy is "Die Hard" with a gender and ethnic consciousness / Avner Shavit / E-Walla (hebrew)
* « The dramatic reenactments and the archival footage are complemented by audio recordings from the night of the attack, captured on tape by a recording enthusiast who was behind the hotel during the incident. Pieced together, they paint a picture of a young woman who attempted to save lives by connecting to her kidnappers on a human level. »
The forgotten heroine of the deadly 1975 Savoy Hotel terror attack / Amy Spiro / Times of Israel
* « Dans son nouveau docufiction, la réalisatrice Zohar Wagner raconte l'histoire de Cochava Levy, l'une des otages de l’attaque terroriste de l’hôtel Savoy à Tel Aviv en 1975, qui a joué le rôle d’intermédiaire entre les preneurs d’otages et Tsahal. » CULTURE | "Savoy": l’héroïne oubliée de l’attaque terroriste de l’hôtel Savoy à Tel Aviv/ Valérie Abecassis / i24news (Français)

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